Dagon

One of these days, a worthy adaptation of HP Lovecrafts stories and ‘Old Ones’ mythology will emerge. This 2001 piece of crap is NOT it. It’s really only Dagon in name, as it has FAR more in common, thematically, with the terrific short story ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’. But this ‘telling’ of THAT story sucks. It is loaded with cheap effects, undeveloped characters who make asinine decisions, and ‘revelations’ that feel half-baked and tacked on. In the plus column, the Spanish town the story takes place in is strange and some of the make-up effects are serviceable, with a gory ‘face removal’ of a character being a stand-out. But again, numerous small, idiotic details just kept getting in the way. Like the Zippo lighter that burns FOREVER. Or the main characters indestructible glasses. Or the poorly timed quips in moments of peril. This, and many other Stuart Gordon ‘adaptations’ are just not up to the quality that the source material demands. HP Lovecrafts stories have an unsettling sense of cosmic grandiosity and horror born of powers that regard humans as essentially weak playthings for The Gods of the Deep (space, ocean, etc). The closest I’ve seen to a director getting the ‘Lovecraftian’ aesthetic right was John Carpenter’s ‘In the Mouth of Madness’ from ’94…and even it wasn’t perfect. In short, these stories should not be adapted unless a good chunk of cash is thrown their way under the direction of a director/writer with a distinct vision and respect for the material. This garbage has none of that.

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